Friday, January 06, 2006

Byte: Yarrrr!

With the PC, Xbox and DS schedules practically barren until March, I've been working over a few old favourites in the last week. I started replaying Neverwinter Nights just before I went to France on holiday, mainly to build up an Epic character to play Hordes of the Underdark, when Dan suggested to me on Messenger that I play Pirates Of The Sword Coast, a Premium module expansion by Bioware for Neverwinter Nights. I'd been somewhat reticent towards buying the NWN Premium modules in the past, but just before Christmas I picked up the retail pack of Kingmaker, Shadowguard and Witch's Wake for a tenner, which are all pretty good, and after having Pirates recommended to me, I thought I'd take a chance on it, since another $10 on my credit card isn't really going to make much of a difference at this point...

As you might expect, it's a tale of piracy, treachery and talking parrot-ery on the high seas of the Faerunian Sword Coast. I won't go into plot spoilers, but suffice to say it's Umberlee-vably entertaining stuff. (Get it? Umberlee? The Queen of the Deeps? An RPG about pirates? Oh, please yourselves...) Not only do you get to buckle your swash throughout, there are several wonderful changes of pace, including being marooned on a troglodyte-infested desert island (A Crusoe-em-up, if you will), plus you get to do all sorts of piratey things, including hunting for buried treasure with tattered maps. I got through it in two solid evening's play (6-8 hours worth), though I didn't do everything, and the game's practically begging for replays, thanks to the multiple endings, so it's pretty good value. The dialogue's great, a couple of the characters are fantastic (including the aforementioned talking parrot) and it's about PIRATES. It could only be cooler if it had ninjas too. Oh, and maybe giant stompy robots. And jetpacks. Okay, forget I said anything...
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